Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: When I Come Around by Karen Grey

Posted May 22, 2024 by Jen in Listen Up!, Rating B, Recent History/Nostalgic Fiction, Romance Tags: , , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: When I Come Around by Karen Grey

audiobook cover of When I Come Around by Karen Grey

When I Come Around is a friends-to-lovers romance that has been years in the making. Although everyone knows Ford’s feelings towards Whitney, what no one knows is that Whitney has always cared for Ford, but she was too worried she’d mess it up or he’d be collateral damage in her battle with her parents. Working together on a movie set away from their home and friends gives the pair time to explore feelings and much more. 

While each has baggage that needs to be addressed, Whitney comes with  way more than Ford. Whitney is slow to come to terms that her parents and husband were emotionally and mentally abusive, and because of this, she can’t fully express what’s wrong in her life. This all leads poor communication and misguided help from her friends, including Ford. As an outsider, I was shaking my head at her friends’ attempts to help by talking amongst themselves behind her back. I could see the train wreck in slow motion, and I was frustrated that Ford knew it was wrong, but didn’t just put an end to it. The author does a great job of realistically portraying the mental and emotional limitations of a victim of abuse. Similarly, the reactions of her friends are true to life based on the limited information they have. It all makes for an emotional story that is heartbreaking at times. Luckily, Ford learns how to adjust and be there for Whitney on her terms.

Narration: The story is shared via the alternating first person POVs of Whitney (Stribling) and Ford (Dunlap). Both have southern accents that vary with each character. Dunlap has a pleasant, somewhat deep voice, adjusting dialogue slightly based on gender and age. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish different characters, especially those of the same gender and during dialogue. Stribling’s voice is fairly high-pitched and nasally, but she softens it for Whitney. She deepens her voice for male characters and alters sufficiently to make each character distinguishable. The voices for Vi and Dani seemed too old, but it could also be because I’ve heard the narrator before and those voices were used for older characters.

When I Come Around is a slow-burn romance filled with sexy times, lots of laughs, and some serious emotional growth that packs a punch. The author has a bonus epilogue free for Karen Grey subscribers, which turns Whit and Fords’ HFN to an HEA and is a delightful “cherry on top” for fans of the Carolina Classics series.

My Ratings
Story: B+
Narration: B

About the Book:

Third time’s the charm… Oh, snap.

I honestly don’t know if I can survive risking it all on this woman again. The last time I put my heart on the line, the girl I protected from every bully growing up, not only said no, she ran right into the arms of the worst bully of them all.

I don’t know if she’ll ever choose me, but when she’s in trouble, I can’t just sit by and watch. When fate gives us a second chance, landing us both on a movie crew shooting in a romantic small town nestled in the North Carolina mountains, it’s not just the cooler nights bringing us closer together.

And it’s not just the autumn leaves falling.

I’m doing my best to be the friend she needs, to take care of her the way her family never has, but when she puts a secret friends-with-benefits deal on the table, all bets are off.

Even if I’m destined to lose her–and my heart–all over again.

Author: Karen Grey
Ryan Lee Dunlap, Amanda Stribling
Carolina Classics #4
Genre: Retro/Nostalgic Romance
Audiobook Release Date: May 3, 2024
Publisher: Home Cooked Books
Length: 7 hours, 43 mins
Source: Author
Audio Speed: 1.4x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)

Reviews in the Series:
I’ll Stand by You by Karen Grey (Boston Classics #4.5; Carolina Classics #0.5)
You Get What You Give by Karen Grey (Carolina Classics #1) – Audiobook Review
Hold On To Me by Karen Grey (Carolina Classics #2) – Audiobook Review
I Want it That Way by Karen Grey (Carolina Classics #3) – Audiobook Review